With Coppa Italia and the Champions League in the rearview mirror, there is just one competition left standing. The Nerazzurri’s hunt for the Scudetto receives full focus from now until late May, starting with Lazio’s visit to the San Siro on Sunday.
Lazio endured a rough start to its Serie A campaign thanks to its involvement in the UCL where it finished second in the group stage and is set to face Bayern Munich in the Round of 16. But since Lazio has been able to fully focus on Serie A, results have turned around. The biancocelesti is looking its best at the moment, and the six game-winning run Simone Inzaghi’s side is on has sent it back into top four contention on 40 points. Ciro Immobile, Luis Alberto, and Sergej Milinković-Savić are once again the star performers in the capital. Immobile has 14 goals so far, good enough for second in the capocannoniere race and only two behind first. He’s been especially crucial as he leads the league with seven game-winners. Immobile has also scored 4 and assisted one throughout Lazio’s recent spell of victories. Like Lazio as a whole, Luis Alberto struggled in the opening weeks of the season but has since rebounded to his usual commanding self. The Spaniard has 6 goals and is an instrumental part of Lazio’s attacking play. Milinković-Savić has been even more impressive. The Serbian has four goals and seven assists this season, capable of being the difference-maker game after game.
Inter’s midfield will be hard-pressed to keep that duo in check, but if it can the game may be won in the center of the park. Also of concern to Inter are Romelu Lukaku’s recent struggles. He hasn’t been able to imprint himself on games recently in the way he had previously with fatigue taking its toll on the Belgian. If Lukaku turns it around, Inter can think of the Scudetto as a very real possibility and Sunday would be as good a day as any for Lukaku to show that he means business.
- 1-0 (H), 25/9/2019
- 1-2 (A), 2/16/2020
- 1-1 (A), 4/10/2020
Predicted Starting XIs
Both Antonio Conte and Simone Inzaghi love their 3-5-2s, which sets up some fascinating individual matchups. Immobile and Lukaku are up against a set of three-man defenses, which promises plenty of draining physical battles on both sides. Achraf Hakimi caused Lazio’s left flank problem after problem the last time these two teams met, but he’s even more daunting of a prospect now that he’s more settled into Serie A. The midfield, of course, will be a riveting encounter. Two of the best midfields in the league will be on display and who comes out on top there could decide the result.
Prediction: Inter Milan 3-1 vs Lazio
Lazio will make this more than a challenge for Inter, especially as the visitors will be coming off a full week of rest compared to Inter’s four days. I still think Inter can claim the three points in what is sure to be a close, back-and-forth match only decided by a pair of late Nerazzurri goals.